Sarah Lancashire leaves viewers shaken with NTAs acceptance speech accent

NTAs: Sarah Lancashire speaks after receiving award

ITV viewers were left “shaken” and astonished by Sarah Lancashire’s accent during her acceptance speech, branding it “not proper Yorkshire”.

The TV star was born in Oldham, just a few miles from Manchester, while Happy Valley was set in the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, less than 40 minutes drive away.

However, as the tearful 58-year-old took to the stage at the National Television Awards (NTAs) 2023 on Tuesday night, she spoke in a way some social media users described as “posh”, leaving some questioning what had happened to her regional twang.

“You mean to tell me Sarah Lancashire isn’t poppin’ about with a proper Yorkshire accent??? I am shook,” exclaimed @MasonBingley after taking to the Twitter (X) app.

@ktlulu1985 chimed in: “How does Sarah Lancashire sound like that?”

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@babyspicy_ added her thoughts too, writing: “Me expecting Sarah Lancashire to have a Yorkshire accent but has a posh one instead #NTAs #NTAs2023 #HappyValley.”

Meanwhile, @KylerFyfe joked: “Since when was Sarah Lancashire so well spoken, half expected her to be like ‘f*****g here we go’ #NTAs.”

Sarah, who played detective Catherine Cawood in Happy Valley over several years after it began in 2015, seemed ecstatic as she soaked up the success.

She’d gone head to head with her co-star James Norton for the title of Best Drama Performance, and won.

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Meanwhile, the BBC series had also beaten the likes of Call the Midwife, Vera and Stranger Things to the title of Best Recurring Drama – and fans have now declared her “acting royalty”.

With not just one but two awards to collect on the night, the choked-up actress exclaimed: “Thank you so much for this.

“I have adored every scene, every moment of Happy Valley. And I know I will never forget it and all the brilliant people. The way the BBC have supported us.”

She continued: “I have to say some things about Sally Wainwright. Her writing is so extraordinary, her characters are extraordinary.”

Fans were devastated when the drama ended for good earlier this year, with a climactic finale that it was impossible to come back from.

More than 7.5 million viewers tuned into the sensational scenes between Sarah and James (who played Tommy Lee Royce, the villain who murdered Catherine’s daughter).

Tommy was originally deadset on torching Catherine’s house in an act of vengeance after breaking in with gasoline, but ended up pouring it over himself during a fierce argument with her and setting himself on fire.

With one of the main characters gone, the show will no longer be returning, but it went out with a bang after the double victory at tonight’s NTAs.

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